Electronic Circuits

An electronic circuit is created with a combination of individual electronic components like resistors, transistors, capacitors, inductors, and diodes, connected by conductive wires or traces through which electric current can flow. The combination of the electronic components and wires allows various simple and complex operations to be performed, the electronic circuits can amplify the signals, computations can be performed, and data can be moved from one place to another.

An electronic circuit can be categorized as an analog circuit, a digital circuit, or a mixed-signal circuit, which is a combination of an analog circuit and a digital circuit.

Digital electronics are electronics that operate on digital signals. Digital electronic circuits have electric signals that take on discrete values to represent logical and numeric values. These logical and numerical values constitute an information that is being processed. In binary encoding, one voltage represents a binary ‘1’ and another voltage represents a binary ‘0’. Digital circuits can provide both logic and memory, enabling them to perform arbitrary computational functions. It is utilized to create a general purpose computing chips and custom-designed logic circuits.

A digital circuit is typically constructed from small electronic circuits called logic gates that can be used to create combinational logic. A logic gate is generally created from one or more electrically controlled switches. An advantage of digital circuits when compared to analog circuits is that signals represented digitally can be transmitted without degradation due to noise. Storage of information is easier, it can be controlled by a software that allows new functions to be added without changing the hardware. Digital circuits are more expensive.

Analog electronics are electronic systems with a continuously variable signal. Analog describes the proportional relationship between a signal and a voltage or current that represents the signal.

Analog circuitry is built with two fundamental building blocks, the series, and parallel circuits. The basic components of analog circuits are wires, resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors. An analog circuit is designed to amplify, attenuate, provide isolation, distort, or modify the signal.

In a series circuit, the same current passes through a series of components. Meanwhile, in a parallel circuit, all the components are connected to the same voltage, and the current divides between the various components according to the resistance of the circuit.

There are two classifications of an analog circuit, these are the passive analog circuit and active analog circuit. A passive analog circuit consumes a no external electrical power while the active analog circuit uses an electrical power source to achieve the goal.

Meanwhile, the mixed-signals circuit is the combination of an analog circuit and a digital circuit on a single semiconductor. These are often used to convert analog signals to digital signals so that digital devices can process them. These circuits are more difficult to design and manufacture than analog-only or digital-only integrated circuits.

To test the new designs, breadboards, perfboards, and stripboards are commonly used. These boards allow the designer to make a quick change to the development of the circuit.

Electronics Safety

Although electronics deal with low voltage devices, it still has the potential to put yourself into harm. Devices or circuits that use 120 VAC power from an electrical outlet can put you into an imminent danger and potentially kill you.

  • It is best to take the precautionary measures and safety guidelines to keep yourself safe at work.
  • Do not work on a circuit while the power is still on.
  • Do not connect the power to a circuit until the circuit is done, carefully check and examine your work.
  • When there is a burning smell, immediately disconnect the power and examine the circuit to determine what went wrong.
  • Always keep the work area dry.
  • Always wear safety goggles.
  • Always work in a well-ventilated place.
  • Be cautious about working around large capacitors, it still continues to hold voltage long after it is disconnected from power.
  • When working with electronics, have a safety equipment on your sides, such as a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, and a phone.

However, aside from these obvious precautions, there are instances that are less obvious. Here are important precautions that can make you safe during your complex electronic project.

Discharge any capacitors

Be cautious with capacitors, to avoid being caught by shock or burn you have to:

  1. Unplug the electronic device to terminate any alternating current flowing through the capacitor.
  2. Disconnect removable capacitor.
  3. Touch the capacitor leads with the wires of an electric bulb with a volt meter or a 5 to 10-watt resistor.

Do not retain it, replace it

It is too risky to save a damaged electronic device, for example, you had a damaged cable, do not save it with insulating tapes. Replace it with a new length of the cable.

Do not use the wrong tools

Examine and ensure that you are utilizing the proper tools and equipment.

Avoid live heat-sinks

When you are working with the main electricity, avoid heat sinks. A triac on a semiconductor produces heat to switch the main electrical currents through the transistors. To make the heat disappear and prevent overheating, a heat sink is integrated.

Meanwhile, non-insulated triac produces a better thermal characteristic, and an insulated triac ensures a heat-sink is not live.

Solder safely

Soldering wires have its own potential dangers, be sure to have a protective equipment. Wear safety goggles. The solder can get hot and can splatter when the air pockets are heated.

Do not overload the circuit

Make sure that the cabling in the circuit does not exceed the maximum current rate.

Double check

It is better to be safe than sorry, test and test the circuit again. Make sure that the voltage meter is giving an accurate reading, examine the body, probes, and wires for any signs of wear and damage.

Protection from an electronic static discharge

For preventive measures, get connected to the ground by wearing an anti-static armband connected by a wire to a metal cold water pipe.

Tips on Testing Electronic Parts

Some electronic parts are usually very fragile which makes testing them a difficult task but others like cables are much easier. With different parts ranging from the switch buttons to resistors, different testing methods may be required for the gadgets. Although in most cases testing is done to locate a particular problem, other times it is usually done as part of regular maintenance to make sure the gadget is still in the right shape. Below are some tips on testing electronic parts that one can use.

For the parts, whether cables or resistors, a digital multimeter comes in handy. It is a device used to test the continuous flow of current through a device and determining if the device is functioning as it should. Connecting your cable to this device will inform you if it is working as it should or if there is a problem. In cases where one wants to use it, the cable can be checked by examining around the corners and trying to locate any cracks that could be blocking continuous flow or current. The multimeter can also be used to test the power buttons of any electronic gadget. In that case, however, you need to test both on and off status of your device and noting the differences. This reading should be “zero” when turned off.

Without the multimeter, one can still test the electronic parts they think are giving them problems. Other than looking for breakages, one can also try check for displacements. Any part that is wrongly placed could cause major problems and sometimes even permanent damages. This kind of problem can be rampant in homes with children as they tend to touch everything around the house. It is therefore important to check the location of every part to ensure all parts are rightfully placed before proceeding to test the internal parts.

Manual testing can also be done on the internal parts of an electronic gadget by opening it up and checking for visible problems. If you cannot locate anything wrong, it is better to use the multimeter. It tends to be a safer and more reliable way of testing if the flow of current is consistent. The internal parts may be more delicate and may be damaged when roughly handled so you need to careful when dealing with them. A multimeter can be found in electronic shops and is easy to use. You just need to connect both of its ends to the part you want to test then get the reading, which reads “infinite” whenever there’s a problem and gives specific readings when the part is working properly.

5 Safety Measures to follow while assembling electronic parts

Are you trying to assemble electronic parts? Are you connecting different electronic circuits? If yes, before you chalk up the blueprint to connect the parts or solder the PCB, you have to know about the safety measures which you need to follow while assembling electronic parts. While working on the electronic parts, creating a safe working environment is necessary. You have to be extremely cautious while working with the electronic components and parts.

If you’re not sure of the guidelines which you have to follow, we would today help you out by sharing with you five different safety measures which you have to undertake while assembling electronic parts.

1. Disconnecting the electrical circuits: While this is the most obvious step and some of you might take it lightly but you would be surprised to know how many people forget to switch off the electronic parts or frayed electrical circuits before beginning the work on them. You run the risk of getting electrocuted if you forget about this simple safety measure.

2. Keep the metallic objects at bay: Most of the people often use pens or pencils in order to indicate certain connections while assembling the electronic parts. You need to understand that pencils, as well as a pen, can be good conductors of electricity. That is why you have to use pliers or tester in order to trace or indicate the path of current or the connections which you are making. The pliers and tester are well insulated which ensures that you do not run the risk of coming in contact with the current.

3. Using protective equipment while soldering: While assembling the electronic parts or soldering them to the PCB, the soldering iron is often heated to a very high temperature. That is why while using the soldering iron you have to wear proper insulating gloves. Also, whenever you are working with electronic components, it is always a good idea to wear rubber gloves in order to provide yourself with some insulation from the electric current. In addition to that, you have to strictly turn off the soldering iron after the soldering work is done. This would ensure that no one accidentally comes in contact with the hot soldering iron. . While the soldering iron is hot, you have to use a proper soldering iron holding stand in order to hold it in its place which would prevent any accidental contact. In order to store the soldering iron, you have to always use a proper casing rather than leaving it on the table.

4. Assembling the electronic parts in the proper environment: Electronic parts should be assembled in rooms having moderate temperatures. If the temperature is pretty cold or if there is any possibility of condensation, you should avoid assembling the electronic parts in those rooms. The reason for this is that when condensation occurs, water deposition would take place on the electronic parts. This can cause a short circuit which would not only damage that particular component but can damage the entire circuit as well. This can prove to be pretty costly.

5. Draining the Capacitors before starting the work: Capacitors can hold a charge for a pretty long period of time. Before beginning your work, you have to drain them off by shorting both the connections of the capacitor. While working, you have to continue with this precaution in order to prevent any kind of electric shock. In addition to these 5 safety measures as well, there are the few other safety measures which you should additionally look into depending on the type of electronic parts with which you are working on. These include:

  • You shouldn’t ground the defective circuit in order to drain the current and thereafter work on it. You have to find a permanent solution to the defective circuit instead of just grounding it.
  • You should never try to manually remove water or any chemical which has fallen on the electrical circuit. You have to do so with the help of proper tools. So, when you’re working on any electronic circuits, you have to follow these safety measures when assembling electronic parts. Proper adherence to these safety measures would always help you stay out of trouble and complete the assembling work in a safe manner.

How To Recycle Used Electronic Parts Waste?

Technology is progressing at a brisk pace. The usage of electronic gadgets is increasing day by day. As newer and newer gadgets are being launched, the older ones are becoming obsolete. This is resulting in an enormous amount of electronic waste being generated. Most of the people just discard their older gadgets once they buy a new one. However, there are plenty of ways to recycle electronic parts as well. Most of the people are puzzled by the question how to recycle used electronic parts waste. We would today share with you the exact procedure which you can follow in order to recycle the electronics parts waste.

1. Sorting the gadgets: Before you begin the process, you have to sort out the gadgets which you want to recycle. Each and every type of gadget like a smartphone as well as a DVD player or even a clock can be stripped off useful components which can be reused. You have to unscrew the gadget and thereafter remove the PCB in order to begin the recycling process. PCB is the green circuit board inside the gadget.

2. Materials needed: Once you get the PCB out of the gadget, you would have to desolder the components which can be recycled. In order to do so, you would need certain equipment. The equipment which you have to keep ready are:

  • PCB
  • Pliers
  • Soldering iron
  • Vice Grip
  • Storage container for the desoldered components
  • De-soldering pump

3. Put the PCB into the Vice grip: In order to desolder the components with ease, you have to hold the PCB with the help of the vice grip. You can hold it in the position which is more preferable for you i.e. horizontal or vertical. You have to just make sure that the soldered side of the PCB is on the upper side.

4. Removing the components: Once the PCB is held in its place, you have to start removing the components by desoldering them. You have to 1st press the soldering iron against the soldered joint and once the soldered metal is liquefied, you have to suck it out with the help of the desoldering pump. Once you are able to remove the soldered metal from the contact, the component would loosen up you can pull it out with the help of the pliers. You have to repeat this procedure with the entire circuit.

Pro tip: When you are removing any component you have to make sure that the soldered metal is entirely removed from its contents. Only when it is fully removed, you have to pull it out with the help of the pliers. Even if a small amount of soldered metal is left, you have to use the soldering iron again and use the desoldering pump in order to remove it and thereafter remove the component with the help of the pliers.

5. Knowing the components which are useful: Not each and every component which you can pull out from the circuit board can be reused. Some of the components which can be easily recycled are:

  • Capacitors
  • Switches
  • Resistors
  • LEDs
  • Diodes
  • Transistors

6. Storing them in a proper container: Once you are able to remove the components from the circuit board, you have to store them in a proper airtight container. This would protect them from moisture as well as outside temperature. You can use these components easily to assemble or create new circuits whenever you want. So, if you’re wondering how to recycle used electronic parts waste, you have to just follow this procedure for the gadget which you want to recycle the electronic parts from. The parts which you are able to salvage from the circuit can be reused as long as you are able to use them as per the specifications.

History of Electronics Industry in The United States

The United States is one of the countries in the world with the most developed electronics industry. This has been as a result of the great innovations and inventions that have occurred in this industry. Looking back at the industry in the country one realizes that things have changed a lot since the first electronics were produced. The changes have been brought about by increased knowledge in this industry and also innovations in the way they are produced. Let’s now look at the history of the industry in the country.

How has the industry developed?

The electronic industry in the United States can be traced back in the 19th century. The development led to creation of several inventions in developments of different electronics. Most of the electronics that came up during this period are those involved in the entertainment industry including televisions and radios. As years moved and with increased knowledge in the industry digital electronics emerged in the 1940’s. By the 1990’s, more electronics had emerged even in the computer industry. Since then it has developed to be a worldwide industry worth a lot of dollars. Most of the electronic parts in the modern times are now digital.

Development of consumer electronic products

Consumer electronics have also developed since the 19th century and there are thousands of consumer electronic parts in the United States market. There are modern and more sophisticated electronics that have been developed through the years. There has been the emergence of both semi and fully automated factories that produce these electronics. In addition to this, the industry has grown from the past manual production process to the now modern computerized production that has led to more complex and efficient consumer electronics.

Impacts to the society

The electronics industry in the United States has led to both positive and negative impacts to the entire society, but the positive ones surpass the latter. As years have moved since the 19th century, more and more people are now employed in the industry. There are professional who are involved in designing, testing, developing, installation and repairing of the electronics. Another great impact is that the society has become more efficient with inventions of more complex and smaller electronics that have high level functionality.

With increased production since the 19thcentury, there has been production of toxic materials with negative impacts to the environment. However, in the past twenty years there has been creation of regulations to address these problems.